GFY, Dave

I’m catching up on podcasts this afternoon and just got to lottalinuxlinks, starting with a mindless diatribe about going ogg-only. This is a fucked up decision for a lotta reasons. Chief among them deciding to call it an “oggcast” instead of a podcast. WTF…?

If you don’t want to offer your show in mp3, that’s fine. But spare your listeners the goddamn boilerplate advocacy lecture about it if you’re going to base it on phony arguments. These are the reasons given:

  • freedom
  • convenience (see laziness)
  • “the right thing to do” (whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean)
  • laziness (not only about maintaining his site, but also intellectual laziness)
  • “turn about’s fair play” (whatever the fuck that means)
  • “stuff like that” (whatever the fuck that means)

Why prattle on for a bit about how ogg is the codec for Linux (“the file format of Linux”)? What the hell about flac? Not lossy enough for ya?

I know very few Linux or BSD or OpenSolaris users who rely solely on ogg for anything. And quite frankly, people who get that worked up about such things aren’t my kind of crowd anyway.

This isn’t about freedom. It sure as hell isn’t about choice. The moment you make a choice to force users or listeners to use this format or that format, you’re a fucking authoritarian — you represent the antithesis of freedom. You’re forcing people to change feed subscriptions, change links in scripts they use to download the same format they always have. Stop going on about it as if you’re doing something noble. It isn’t noble because you’re forcing your own demented values on others (unless others take your invitation to stop listening, which I probably will).

It’s not about freedom in the sense of a patented format, either. The legal issues don’t surround the actual file but rather the encoder and/or decoder. My media players are all legal for playing mp3 files. So are most of my computers. Some of my media players don’t play ogg. One of our computers doesn’t play ogg, either (and NO, I don’t care to add something capable of playing the less-common ogg format on Windows since Windows is quite capable of playing more ubiquitous and technically-superior mp3 and wmv formats).

Why not play ogg on one of the media players? Because ogg sucks ass. Technically it sucks ass. If it were technically-superior, more people would be using it beyond the handful of desktop Linux users who never bothering to install “tainted” codecs which ironically seem to perform better under Linux than the codec for Linux. Most of the world doesn’t use it. Not even the “free” (as in software, as in freedom, as in…) world. I’ve converted most of my media to mp3 so I can play it on any of my players. Including the stereo in my car, which doesn’t do ogg.

The only people who think this is about freedom and “doing the right thing” are poseurs and demagogues who think freedom is offering people fewer choices. Microsoft Windows isn’t that fucking restrictive out of the box. Most Linux distros are. Now so are Linux podcasts. Well, another one of them anyway. (Edit: I understand why most Linux distros don’t include “dirty” or “tainted” codecs by default. That isn’t the issue here. Every single distro, save for a few nutball ones like Gnewsense, make it possible for users to find, install, and use such software. Dave, why did you install Debian instead of Gnewsense if this is really of such importance to you?)

I don’t know what the fuck you mean by “turn about’s fair play” (what did the mp3-subscribers of your podcast do to warrant turn about?!) or “stuff like that.” I do accept the laziness/convenience argument. Even when you admit you’ve decreased the quality of mp3 podcasts while you increased the quality of the ogg podcasts (cripple-ware, anyone?). You gave the choice of formats, now you take it away. Fine.

But spare everyone the lecture and sophistry about how you’re doing “the right thing.” Didn’t stop you from doing “the wrong thing” all this time, did it.

You’re a charlatan, Dave. If you think this is the right thing, what are you going to do to make restitution to the patent holders for the mp3 codec for all your other mp3casts (heh)?

You give a few choices: convert the ogg podcasts to mp3,  go purchase an ogg player, or go away.

No, asshole, you go away. You’re not the one who’s being forced to “jump through hoops.” You’re a poseur who wants your listeners to jump through them. I’m not one to ask how high, I’m one to tell you to go fuck yourself.

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